Russia and China sign protocol on cooperation in combating drug addiction in border areas

A protocol on cooperation in combating drug addiction in the frontier areas of the Russian Far East and the North-East of China was signed in Khabarovsk on Thursday by Lieutenant-General Anatoly Zolotarev, head of the main department of the Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Far Eastern Federal District, and commissioner 2nd rank Gao Delin, deputy head of the public security department of the Heilongjiang Province.

The document was signed on the results of the working meeting of delegations of the interior bodies and departments to counteract illegal drug trafficking, which ended on Thursday. General Anatoly Zolotarev said summing up the results at a briefing that the participants in the meeting analysed the situation which caused the concern of both sides. In the Heilongjiang Province alone, more than 4 tons of narcotic means and raw material were confiscated from illegal trade in 2002 alone.

In the Russian Far East the corresponding figure exceeds 8 tons.

Anatoly Zolotarev told the press that the Russian and Chinese delegations agreed to set up a permanent joint working group to coordinate their actions. Russian and Chinese detectives will exchange information on criminal groupings, separate drug-traffickers and pushers. It has also been decided to exchange normative acts and laws of the two countries pertaining to drug-addiction and means of combating it.

"This is a very important document which defines the direction of our cooperation and the development of contacts in countering illicit drug traffic in the adjacent territories of China and Russia," said Gao Delin at the briefing. 'We have achieved mutual understanding on all the issues discussed."

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